The first time was an accident.
Wooseok trudged into the bedroom, bones heavy with exhaustion and eyes bagged from lack of sleep. He wants nothing but to dive into bed and swim against the comfort of his blanket and pillows, but the unease brought by his shirt sticking against his back and his sweat-soaked fringe falling over his eyes tells him to hit the showers first.
He gathers his essentials - shirt, sweatpants, towel, and his trusty headband - and marches to the bathroom. He finds it fortunately unoccupied, the other boys either huddled over the kitchen island for snacks or have simply passed out on the cold tiled floor of the living area. Wooseok hums to himself as he enters, deciding to take a long shower to wash away the weariness of the day.
He comes back to the bedroom to see Yohan rummaging in the closet - in Seungwoo's closet space, to be precise - and goes to dump his clothes in the hamper before addressing the younger.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm looking for something."
"In Seungwoo hyung's closet?" Wooseok asks with his brow raised. He fixes his wet hair away from his face with his headband while the younger assimilates himself further into the closet, hasty fingers throwing into disarray Seungwoo's once neatly-folded shirts.
Wooseok can already hear the sigh escaping Seungwoo's mouth once when he finds the new state of his closet.
"I have to borrow his shirt." Yohan replies, stepping out of the closet. "I'm going out for a bit and I have nothing to wear."
Wooseok couldn't hold back the snicker which tumbles out his lips, "You should really do your laundry, Yohan."
Yohan whines and rummages again, sweeping over the hanged dress shirts and coats at the side. "Where is it?"
"Which shirt do you need, exactly?" Wooseok steps forward, deciding to help the younger before he whines full-on. "And why do you have to go out at this time? It's almost midnight."
"Just a quick meet up with Sihoon before things get crazier than they already are." Yohan answers while his hands continue on their mission of converting Seungwoo's closet into chaos. "It's the black shirt with this thing printed on - " Yohan looks over the older and his words are cut short. Wooseok also stops sifting through the shirts, facing the younger just in time to catch his shoulders slump. "Hyung, that's the shirt I'm looking for!"
Wooseok follows the younger's eyes down his chest and realizes for the first time that, oh, it really is Seungwoo's shirt he's wearing.
"Ah, hyung, I've been looking for that for almost 20 minutes!" Yohan flaps his arms and stomps his feet like a child throwing a tantrum. He groans and whines and everything that usually irritates Wooseok's ears. But the latter couldn't even register the annoyance over his own confusion how he has ended up in Seungwoo's shirt.
"Sorry! I didn't notice!" Wooseok says truthfully, palms up in surrender. "It was on the bed and I was rushing to shower. I really didn't notice it wasn't mine."
Yohan stops with his fit only after a full minute, exhaling through his nose in defeat. He looks back on Seungwoo's closet and scans it again. "I'll just have to borrow a different shirt then."
"I can take it off if you really need it?" Wooseok offers thoughtlessly, chest constricting with guilt.
"Jesus, no need for that." A laugh escapes Yohan's mouth and Wooseok's chest eases a little. Yohan then plucks a grey shirt among the clutter and heads towards the door.
"Seungwoo hyung, Wooseok hyung's wearing the shirt so I'm borrowing a different one!"
Yohan exits the bedroom and Wooseok hears Seungwoo's faint assent from the kitchen. He stares back at the heap of untidied clothes and feels a tad sorry for Seungwoo, but he also knows too well he's far from someone who cleans up after somebody else's mess. He closes the door with a slightly heavy heart. He'll just have to offer the older a sympathetic pat on the back later.
Before he exits the room to join the others, his eyes fall on the mirror and realizes how foolish it was for him not to notice he's wearing another person's shirt. The shirt is almost engulfing him, reaching mid-thigh. Seungwoo having a larger built than him is a given fact. So is the fact that Seungwoo always buys clothes a size larger than his exact fit. Seeing himself almost swimming in Seungwoo's clothes reinforces the spiteful truth Wooseok refuses to acknowledge. He looks small. Tiny, in Seungwoo's clothes. It paints a grimace across his face.
But then he gets a whiff of a familiar scent as he presses his nose against the fabric. It smells like fresh linen and a faint dash of peach - a mixture which reminds him of the safety and comfort of his bed, a scent he'd gladly succumb into. He feels the material with the pads of his fingers. It's made of cotton and is cool to the touch.
He examines himself on the mirror again. The shirt's fragrance suddenly more profound against his nostrils. The grimace is slowly replaced with a contemplative look.
He leaves the bedroom.
When Wooseok enters the kitchen, he sees Seungwoo's eyes widening over the cup he has pressed against his lips. There's a smile adorning his lips once he puts the cup down, eyes glistening a different kind of glow.
Wooseok tries not to think much about it and goes to pour himself a glass of milk.
Wooseok collapses on the floor. His heart is thundering against his rib cage like he has just ran a marathon and his whole body feels like it's being set on fire.
They have been practicing for hours. For exactly how long, Wooseok does not have an answer. It's as if the concept of time becomes alien once they step foot inside the practice room. Time passes too fast, too slow. The dull ache in his muscles catches up on Wooseok during the short breaks Seungwoo calls in between their practices, but he casts it away immediately whenever they're called back.
Their choreographer finally calls it a day and Wooseok finally allows himself to surrender. He can hear the same laboured breaths around him, can imagine the same rapid rising and falling of chests, the beads of sweat matting their foreheads, sliding down the sides of their faces, the uncomfortable feeling of sweat on their skin.
Wooseok thinks he wouldn't mind passing out right there in the middle of the practice room. He can hardly feel his legs. All that he can register is the thumping of his heart, which increasingly feels like it's about to burst out of his chest at any moment.
"Wooseok, are you okay?"
Wooseok does not need to open his eyes to know who's asking, but still, he cracks them open to see Seungwoo looming over him. His face is laced with worry and Wooseok finds himself sitting up with the little energy he has left in hopes to dispel the worry off Seungwoo's face.
"I'm fine," Wooseok says, still a little breathless. "Just feeling a little icky."
Seungwoo reaches behind Wooseok to pat his back.
The worry etched on his face becoming more pronounced as he feels how damp the latter's back is.
"You should change out of this."
Wooseok reaches for his back himself and fans his shirt. Sheepish, he says, "I forgot to bring an extra shirt."
Seungwoo is on his feet in a second, "Wait here."
Wooseok's eyes follow him as he retrieves his bag from the other side of the room. He goes back and plops down beside Wooseok, their knees touching while Seungwoo digs through his bag. He pulls out a black shirt and a bottle of water and offers them to the younger.
"Change into this. And drink this up."
Wooseok accepts them wordlessly, eyes falling on Seungwoo's shirt to see his neckline damp with sweat as well.
"I'm fine. Go change." Seungwoo answers as if reading his mind.
Wooseok can only smile at him weakly.
Wooseok finds himself before a mirror again. The same contemplative look on his face. The shirt is big, as expected, but oddly, his mind is empty unlike the first time he has found himself in Seungwoo's clothes. He can smell the same scent - of fresh linen and peaches - and can feel his muscles relaxing in an instant. He runs a palm down his chest and feels the same cotton material, the same softness which reminds him of the person who has offered him this shirt.
Wooseok becomes aware of the heat settling in his belly. He looks at himself again, a thought lingering at the back of his head.
He looks good in Seungwoo's clothes.
The third time may or may not be intentional.
Wooseok finds himself seeking for that softness and fragrance increasingly - for reasons he doesn't know (or refuses to acknowledge), wearing Seungwoo's clothes brings him some sense of peace. Maybe it's the way the shirts always practically drown him that makes him feel secure like he's burrowed in his own blankets, or the way the material is comfortable against his skin, or the simple fact that Seungwoo's shirts carry with them a faint but distinct smell of the man himself. Wooseok does not labor himself in pointing out the exact reason. He likes wearing Seungwoo's clothes and doesn't think it's unreasonable (he hopes). He settles with just that.
He's currently wearing a yellow shirt, one of the very few which isn't monochrome that Seungwoo owns. They're all in the living room, in a rare day when they get to rest, with a horror film playing on the screen. Wooseok isn't too interested. Instead he's scrolling through social media, unbothered while some of the members shriek during a jump scare. He feels Dongpyo shift beside him, plastering himself against Wooseok with a firm hold on his arm.
There's another jump scare and Dongpyo buries himself at the nook of Wooseok's shoulder. Wooseok laughs weakly and pats the younger's cheek, consoling him. He stays there for quite a while and Wooseok just let's him, arranging the blanket over them before going back to his phone.
"Hyung." Dongpyo has his chin perched on Wooseok's shoulder, "Why do you smell like Seungwoo hyung?"
The question sends a blaze all over Wooseok's body. He can feel his face heating up and cautiously chances a glance at Seungwoo who's sitting beside Dongpyo. Thankfully it doesn't seem like he's heard Dongpyo's question, too immersed in the movie. He looks back to see Dongpyo still peering at him, curious.
"I'm wearing his shirt." He admits in a whisper.
Dongpyo's eyes fall on the said shirt and recognition lights in his eyes, "Ah, it's the shirt I bought with hyung during Produce!"
Before Wooseok could ask Dongpyo to keep it down, the said boy has already turned to the other man beside him. Wooseok feels the color drain from his face. He watches in horror as Dongpyo whispers into Seungwoo's ears, the latter's eyes slowly flickering towards him. Wooseok's hands instinctively curl against the blanket, raising them up to his chest as Seungwoo's eyes settle on him. But then Seungwoo laughs softly and Wooseok simultaneously feels the air getting knocked off his lungs. His eyes leave Wooseok to look at Dongpyo and ruffle the younger's hair.
He doesn't know what to make out of the following words he hears, "Yeah, he looks pretty in it."
"Are you eating properly?"
Wooseok rolls his eyes at Jinhyuk for the nth time. He has been bombarded with questions by the other man the moment he stepped foot in UP10TION's dorm. He begins to wonder whether it was a good decision to pay a visit when he's being interrogated like this.
"I'm fine, Jinhyuk. God, how many times do I have to reassure you I'm doing well?" Wooseok answers, not even trying to mask the annoyance in his voice.
"Until you gain back all the fat in your cheeks." Jinhyuk answers just as sharp. He settles himself on the couch beside Wooseok, handing him a can of beer. "You've lost so much weight. Look, you're almost swimming in your shirt." He tries to make a point by hitching up Wooseok's shirt that has been sliding off his shoulder.
"I didn't lose much," Wooseok mumbles before taking a swig of his beer. "It's just the shirt."
The words slip from his lips before his brain could even process them. He bites on his lower lip when the realization dawns upon him. He sneaks a glance at the other and knows it's too late to take them back.
Wooseok curses himself internally.
"It's Seungwoo hyung's shirt." He tries to say plainly, willing away the heat that's threatening to crawl up his cheeks at the mere mention of the other man's name.
What Wooseok doesn't control though, is the way his fingers curl tightly around the can. This, Jinhyuk catches.
"Oh, Seungwoo hyung." There's the tell-tale teasing Wooseok immediately recognizes in Jinhyuk's voice. He can also spot the mirth swimming in Jinhyuk's eyes.
"What does that mean?" He asks the other with a pointed look.
"What?" Jinhyuk and his audacity to play ignorant gets in Wooseok's nerves.
"Why are you smiling?"
"What, I'm not allowed to smile now?"
"No, you - " The smile on Jinhyuk's face only grows as Wooseok tries to get ahold of his thoughts - they're scattered everywhere - and when Jinhyuk falls against the back of the couch guffawing, Wooseok accepts it's futile to try and gather his words again.
"I fucking hate you." Wooseok sneers but Jinhyuk knows there's no bite in it.
"I didn't even do anything."
Wooseok continues to seethe, chugging his beer in between until his can is empty. He places it down the table and feels the alcohol settle inside him. He starts to feel warm, and with it, the bubble of annoyance inside him dissipates.
"I don't think he minds." Wooseok says barely above a whisper. He gathers his legs to his chest and perches his chin atop his knees. "Seungwoo hyung. I don't think he minds it. Me wearing his clothes."
Jinhyuk studies the softness in Wooseok's voice, the way his face eases delicately at the mention of Seungwoo's name. It's one of the rare moments where Wooseok lets his guard down, lets himself be seen without his walls, lets himself be vulnerable.
Relief washes over Jinhyuk knowing Wooseok has found someone he can rely on. Jinhyuk can finally put his mind to rest knowing Seungwoo will be there for Wooseok.
"Of course, he wouldn't mind." Jinhyuk answers softly.
Wooseok looks at him, confused.
His friend still might not know it himself for now but Jinhyuk's positive he'll get there soon.
He can only pray Wooseok will realize it himself soon.
It has been a long, tiring day but Wooseok couldn't bring himself to sleep. It has been a bad day. He woke up with his body feeling heavier than usual and a hammering in his head, which resulted to him having trouble keeping up with practice and consequently being scolded by the choreographer.
He has been thinking about calling Jinhyuk just to vent but ultimately decided against it. Jinhyuk's schedule is packed recently, he doesn't want to add more into his friend's plate. Then his eyes fall on Seungwoo whose chest is rising and falling steadily, already far in the dreamland on the bed across him. The older has always told him he's willing to listen whenever Wooseok got matters to take off his chest, but these days, even just looking at Seungwoo's eyes is already a task. What with the chaos inside him which sends him running whenever Seungwoo is in his radius.
Wooseok ends up bottling everything inside him again.
He has been tossing and turning in his bed for hours but sleep continues to evade him. Frustrated, he turns to distracting himself with his phone in hopes his eyes will retire soon.
Wooseok is scrolling through his phone when he feels the bed dip. The lights are out and he could only feel the blanket being lifted and a body settling beside him. He turns his phone towards the intruder and gets a glimpse of Seungwoo squinting against the light before his phone is snatched from his hand, the entire room is blanketed in darkness again.
"You're gonna damage your eyes even more." Wooseok hears more than sees Seungwoo reaching up to place the phone on the table overhead. He then settles back, pressing himself against Wooseok whose thoughts are currently running a mile per second with Seungwoo's breath hitting the side of his face. "Why weren't you sleeping?"
Wooseok clears his mind as much as he can and pushes down the lump that has settled in his throat before answering, "I can't fall asleep."
Seungwoo's voice is pensive, sweet, and the arm he has thrown over Wooseok's middle is making Wooseok feel things he's unable to render into words. His heartbeat is in a race and Wooseok's afraid Seungwoo could feel it - could hear how loud it is - and would think of it weirdly.
But Seungwoo only tightens his hold on him, lowers himself to fit his face at the nook of Wooseok's shoulder while his thumb draw circles on Wooseok's arm. He can feel Seungwoo's lips ghosting over his neck and Wooseok finds it harder to breathe with each passing second.
"I, I just couldn't." Wooseok couldn't trust himself to speak any more than that.
Seungwoo hums at his answer and shifts a little, his lips planting a featherlight kiss on Wooseok's neck with his movement. All sense of reason flies out of Wooseok at the contact. Like at empty vessel, he allows himself to melt against Seungwoo. Too far gone to care of whatever that may happen.
"Sleep now. I'll be here." Wooseok feels Seungwoo's head settle on his chest. He could no longer bring himself to worry how his heart is still beating like crazy and how Seungwoo must have been aware of it right now. Instead, his hand moves on its own accord to thread among Seungwoo's locks. The other nuzzles against his jaw and Wooseok's chest swells. He feels so awfully warm - the good kind of warm.
He knows of Seungwoo's penchant for cuddles and has been warned by Byungchan and everyone who has been in the same team with Seungwoo before him. After debuting together and moving into the dorms, he has been a witness on a daily basis how Seungwoo has no sense of personal space especially towards the younger members. But never has he thought he would also come to be a recipient of Seungwoo's warmth. Physical contact between them two strictly consist of pats on the shoulder, hair ruffling, and a split-second hug - until this moment.
Wooseok's mind is muddled and empty at the same time. He wonders if this is the effect of being held in Seungwoo's arms.
"Wooseok." His name is spoken softly against his neck, almost lost amidst their exhales and Junho's soft snoring from the bed above them.
Wooseok's hand stills on Seungwoo's hair.
"You know you can talk to me about everything, right?" The older moves again, this time pushing himself up face to face with Wooseok. Despite with only the moonlight filtering through the blinds as his aid, Wooseok can see the sincerity in Seungwoo's eyes.
He nods, breaking the eye contact before he loses himself in them. "I know, hyung."
But Seungwoo does not allow him and tips his chin up so their eyes meet again. "I mean it, not just because I'm your leader." Wooseok's eyes follow when Seungwoo's tongue darts out to wet his lips. "I want to be here for you, Wooseok."
Wooseok must have made a noise at the back of his throat because he finds himself against Seungwoo's chest in a second, the scent of fresh linen and peaches invading his senses, and the day's stress bleeding out of him in just a whiff.
Wooseok finally realizes it's not the shirts. It's not the shirt, nor the soft cotton material, nor the scent he has grown attached to, that has become his comfort and safe haven the past weeks. They're mere extensions and his true refuge is the man before him: the man with the soft voice and kind words, the man with gentle eyes and equally gentle touch, the man with the warmest hug, the warmest smile -
Wooseok finally pens the word for the turbulence inside his chest.
He hugs him tighter.
"I'm wearing your shirt right now."
Seungwoo laughs and his body shakes along with it. Wooseok likes how he can feel it against him.
"I noticed." Seungwoo lowers the blanket and examines the maroon shirt Wooseok is wearing. His teeth clamp over his lower lip as he fixes the shirt riding up Wooseok's stomach.
"And you don't mind?"
"You can wear them all and I won't mind." Seungwoo answers softly and Wooseok loses another part of his heart. "You look pretty in them."
Wooseok fights the urge to punch something just to channel the tsunami of emotions threatening to drown him from the inside. He settles on grabbing a pillow and burying his face against it. He can hear Seungwoo snickering over the pillow before it's replaced by a sturdy chest with Seungwoo bringing him in a hug again.
"Pretty, pretty, Wooseok."
He can get used to this. )